A lot has been written advising artists of all sizes and at all points in their careers about the best ways to promote new music, whether that be via playlists, the media, playing live or on social media. While it is vital you make the biggest splash possible with every new song, video, or album, it’s perhaps more important to remember your back catalog. Think about it; these older fan favorites have incredible potential to continue to make you money as time goes on.
From the moment you release a song into the world, it can make you money forever. Sure, you might collect the bulk of the cash a track will earn you in the beginning, but that doesn’t mean it ceases to be valuable after a few months have gone by. In fact, there are plenty of ways to repost and reshare weeks, months, or years old material and to do so in a way that makes your music relevant, fun, and worth listening to once again. The more music you create and release, the more all those cents and dollars will begin to add up, especially if you can keep people pressing play over and over while you’re busy working on new things.
Here are a few ideas to get you started promoting older music on social media.
1. Find A Special Date
While you may never have thought about it before, any song (or bit of content, really) can become relevant again on certain days of the year or when special dates return.
The easiest example of this would be an anniversary. Keep track of the exact date when you released every single, album, and music video, and then when this date rolls around again, why not celebrate your work of art once again? You don’t need to do this with literally every song you’ve ever shared every year because it would quickly become tiring both for you and for those who follow you, but it can be a fun way to not only look back at what you have created but to reminisce. Time will pass by faster than you realize. While this is a plan to get more out of the music you’ve already created, you’ll probably end up being glad you put this schedule into effect as it will be wonderful to revisit older tunes.
When reposting songs and videos on anniversaries, try to make things seem relevant and fresh. If you simply post a track and remind people it has been another year, they likely will not be interested enough to click it. Also, it’s great to sprinkle in some variety when honoring anniversaries. One song may be a year old, while next week’s anniversary post could be celebrating a demo you released five years back. It will obviously take time for you to build up the kind of lengthy, time-tested catalog where you can pull this off, but it’s a wonderful way to subtly remind people you have been doing this for a long time.
From the moment you release a song into the world, it can make you money forever. Sure, you might collect the bulk of the cash a track will earn you in the beginning, but that doesn’t mean it ceases to be valuable after a few months have gone by.
2. Something Topical
To make this work, you’ll need to really dig deep and think long and hard about your lyrics, your albums, your music videos…about everything, but thankfully you know this material better than anyone out there (or at least you should). Look at the calendar and keep track of what holidays are coming up. Consider if anything you’ve ever done fits in and could be timely once again. Perhaps you’ve recorded a Christmas album or a holiday-themed song in the past which could be reposted as the wintertime celebrations roll around once again. Maybe one of your music videos is highly political, and it contains a message you’d like to spread whenever election season returns. You could have penned a song about something summery, which people always want more of.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on the news and on what is happening in current events because your music can be reshared around the topics of discussion that pop up every day. Did the President just say something really terrible in a speech and you have a song called “Fuck You”? Well, why not share this song on your social channels once again! If two movie stars you love just got engaged in a public way, tweet them and offer your greatest love song for their wedding, ensuring your followers see the missive as well. You can have a lot of fun reintroducing your music by connecting it to something happening in the moment, and your fans won’t mind hearing the same songs they already know if it’s relevant yet again.
3. Before New Music
When you’re gearing up to release new music, you’ll be focused primarily on promoting your upcoming singles, videos, and albums, which obviously makes sense. In the short-term, there might not be anything more valuable to you as a musician than new music, but bracing your fan base for new tunes and exciting them for a new era can also be a wonderful time to remind them why they loved you in the first place. The goal is to get them wholly consumed by what will surely be your next masterpiece.
In between posting dates and screenshots and generally amping up your dedicated fan base for what’s coming their way, sprinkle in links to your past albums, your previous singles and music videos that have come before. Use wording showing you want people to revisit the art you’ve created prior to you giving them something new. It might be a stretch for some people, and it might not drive a ton of clicks, but people won’t mind you trying to up your play counts across streaming platforms in this manner.
4. Throwback Thursday!
This option is fairly self-explanatory. Throwback Thursday has become a staple on Instagram, and from there, several other platforms, and there is no reason why music can’t be a part of the fun as well. You should absolutely be utilizing this day and this hashtag (#TBT, for those not already taking advantage) almost every week because it’s a wonderful way to create content. Maybe you have tons of live photos from a festival gig you did years back you never shared, or pics with fans or other musicians that you simply never got around to posting. These are perfect for TBT, and if you’re smart, you can connect pictures to music.
Share stills or behind-the-scenes shots from a music video shoot and pair them with a link to your YouTube page where fans and newcomers can watch your work once again. If you have a live record or even if there are videos up online somewhere of you and your bandmates rocking out, share them! You can just share older music with a fun line and the correct hashtag, and for the most part, people will be happy to look back. #TBT is simple and it’s meant to be fun, so don’t take it too seriously, but do recognize it as a perfect opportunity to share old work that maybe hasn’t been played in a while.
The most successful posts on social media are eye-catching, entertaining, moving, or smart, but they don’t need to take hours to craft, and they can even be mindless, as long as the person reading (or looking, or watching) feels something in the end.
5. Preparing For A Show
A lot of your social media promotional efforts will be focused on selling tickets to concerts you’re performing at, but this doesn’t mean these events can’t also be a great way to get people to listen to older tracks.
Before an upcoming show, post a link to a Spotify page with your music or link to a specific album, then ask fans which songs they want to hear. This is a fun way to get people involved, and it is a very subtle way to suggest they hit play once again. Post a link to a single you know you’ll perform and remind your followers there is nothing better than singing along; this is a good reminder they should brush up on the lyrics. Perhaps you have a music video with a certain choreographed dance that always makes shows a lot more fun. You could reshare it, reminding everybody to get those moves down before you take to the stage. These posts can be exciting and a fantastic way to simultaneously remind everyone a concert is on the horizon, and of why they want to go see you in the first place!
6. Just Be Clever
This is obvious, but it is certainly worth stating. Sharing and resharing your old music is something you can honestly do over and over again, as long as you’re smart, funny, endearing…really, as long as what you are saying doesn’t suck, to put it bluntly. Don’t panic thinking people will see through your attempts to continue to rack up streams and earn a few extra dollars off of content you’ve already put out into the world. Just have some fun with it! I know I keep saying this, but if you’re not having a good time creating these posts and coming up with ways to keep your art relevant, your efforts won’t take. The most successful posts on social media are eye-catching, entertaining, moving, or smart, but they don’t need to take hours to craft, and they can even be mindless, as long as the person reading (or looking, or watching) feels something in the end.
Article by Careersinmusic.com